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Direct synthesis of Pt-free catalyst on gas diffusion layer of fuel cell and usage of high boiling point fuels for efficient utilization of waste heat

Nandan, Ravi and Goswami, Gopal Krishna and Nanda, Karuna Kar (2017) Direct synthesis of Pt-free catalyst on gas diffusion layer of fuel cell and usage of high boiling point fuels for efficient utilization of waste heat. In: APPLIED ENERGY, 205 . pp. 1050-1058.

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.08.118

Abstract

Gas diffusion layers (GDL) and electrocatalysts are integral parts of fuel cells. It is, however, a challenging task to grow Pt-free robust electrocatalyst directly on GDL for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) - a key reaction in fuel cells. Here, we demonstrate that boron-doped carbon nanotubes (BCNTs) grown directly on gas-diffusion layer (which avoid the need of ionomer solution used for catalyst loading) can be used as efficient Pt-free catalyst in alcohol fuel cells. Increase in boron concentration improves the electrochemical ORR activity in terms of onset and ORR peak positions, half-wave potentials and diffusion-limited current density that ensure the optimization of the device performance. The preferential 4e(-) pathway, excellent cell performance, superior tolerance to fuel crossover and long-term stability makes directly grown BCNTs as an efficient Pt-free cathode catalyst for cost-effective fuel cells. The maximum power density of the fuel cell is found to increase monotonically with boron concentration. In addition to the application of BCNTs in fuel cell, we have introduced the concept of hot fuels so that waste heat can effectively be used and external power sources can be avoided. The fuel is passed through a hot bath for the realization of hot fuel which eventually increases the operating temperature of the cell (for example: 60 degrees C for methanol and 80 degrees C for ethyleneglycol, avoids the requirement of heating arrangement) and hence, the performance. Overall, different strategies to design ultimate fuel cells for their commercial adoption and effective utilization of waste heat have been outlined.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the ELSEVIER SCI LTD, THE BOULEVARD, LANGFORD LANE, KIDLINGTON, OXFORD OX5 1GB, OXON, ENGLAND
Department/Centre: Division of Chemical Sciences > Materials Research Centre
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2017 06:55
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2017 06:55
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/58352

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